Thursday, June 27, 2013

2013 NHL Draft and the Red Wings

In a year where we saw Tatar and Nyquist blossom, it has become apparent that we have to grow our team from the inside. Before the boom of the internet, all you had were sporadic NHL scout reports, notes on a napkin or ''I heard that...''. Now, thanks to Twitter and other social media, text messaging and email on your smartphone, the information on prospects is available faster.

How is this year’s Red Wing draft looking to shape up?

The Red Wings are looking to draft some forwards, as per Joe McDonnell, the team’s head scout. “We'd really like to get a forward, unless there's a defenseman that's too good to pass up,'' he said. “If we feel there's two players (at different positions) that are even we'll lean toward the forward. … If we can add a little size up front, it would be beneficial.''

So here’s the top-3 draft-eligible players the Red Wings should look at from the 18th pick overall.

Alexander Wennberg – Center – Djurgarden (SWE)


This relatively big center (6’1’’, 190lbs) has all the tools to be a playmaking center. ‘’Wennberg is an offensive forward with smooth hands and terrific puck-handling ability. He has great vision and patience with the puck on his stick.’’ (source) He’s more of a finesse player though, he might not be exactly what the Red Wing’s brass is looking for, but he’s been playing with men the past two seasons and has excelled, amassing 32 points in 47 games with Djurgarden. Plus he’s Swedish, a known commidity for the Red Wings.

Ryan Hartman – Right Winger – Plymouth Whalers

Pictured here on left (Tumblr)

He’s the type of player every coach would like to have on his team. Strong, versatil and a deceptive goal-scorer, Hartman was a part of the World Junior squad that won the Gold for Team USA. The 6’ 185lbs player from Illinois would be just what the Red Wings’ ordered, playing a Ryan Callahan / David Backes type of game, a player that’s no fun to play against. Had 60 points in 56 games in injury-shortened season, so he can rile up players and add points in the meantime.

Bo Horvat – Center – London Knights


The best faceoff man available at this year’s draft is Horvat. In the mold of Mike Richards, he excels at every aspect of the game, as much defensively (+29 this year) as offensively (61 points in 67 games, including 33 goals). In addition to his size, the 6’, 205lbs center from Rodney, Ontario is agressive in his forecheck and is always finishing his checks, something that Babcock would like more of his players.

Blogger’s pick : Nikita Zadorov – Defense – London Knights


Even though the brass says they won’t pick a defenseman, if this guy shows up, they should pick him. The 6’5’’ bruising defenseman is just what the doctor ordered for the Red Wings. He has a game similar to Dion Phaneuf, a booming shot from the point and would make a great pairing with Ryan Sproul or Brendan Smith, in the long run. TSN scout Craig Button said that ‘‘he has good awareness with the puck and has a heavy shot that can make it very difficult for goaltenders to corral it.’’

This draft is exciting, not only because it is said to be a very deep draft, but also Detroit gets to pick higher than it has in the last 22 years, picking Marty Lapointe in 1991 with the 10th pick overall, the same year that they took Osgood, Knuble and Jamie Pushor - yeah, that long ago!